How soon can Verstappen win the 2023 F1 world championship?

Max Verstappen has a 125-point lead in the F1 world championship over Sergio Perez


The 2022 Formula 1 drivers’ title was won in chaotic circumstances, as Max Verstappen found out he was champion during his post-race interview with Johnny Herbert.

But that wasn’t actually confirmed for half an hour after the race, due to a Charles Leclerc penalty combined with a footnote in the F1 regulations meaning full points could be awarded for the shortened race.

So even though it’s clear ahead of the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix that the world champion will once again be Verstappen, there’s still some uncertainty on how it will be awarded at least. We have to cling onto something, eh?

What’s the earliest Verstappen can win the 2023 F1 world championship?

It would be a pretty rubbish look for F1 to see the world champion crowned with six races to go in the championship, but it’s very much possible this season.

That’d render the Qatar, Las Vegas, Abu Dhabi (all showpiece events), USA, Mexico and Sao Paulo GPs dud as far as the title fight goes, as Verstappen would once again be crowned champion in Japan.

For this to happen Verstappen would need to score 81 points more than Perez across the Dutch, Italian, Singapore and Japanese GP weekends – an average of 20.25 points a race.

If Verstappen wins every race with the fastest lap ahead of Suzuka with Perez not scoring any points, then the Mexican would have to outscore his teammate by 23 points in Japan to keep the championship alive.

Now, this isn’t very likely (though with Perez‘s 2023 season nothing’s off the table) but Verstappen likely won’t be denied long regardless.

Where will Verstappen realistically be crowned champion?

Max Verstappen on track at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix | Clive Mason/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

All roads lead either to Qatar. Over the first half of the season, Verstappen scored just less than 10.5 points per race more than Sergio Perez – pretty crazy considering that’s more than the gap from first to third and the Red Bull has been so dominant.

If Verstappen continues at that rate then he’d be on course to win it in Qatar, and even if Perez finishes second to the Dutchman every race then the title would still likely be decided at the Lusail circuit.

After Qatar there’ll be 146 points available from the remaining five races and on his current trajectory, Verstappen would have a 167-point lead leaving the Middle East.

Even if Perez does manage second and fastest lap in every race behind his teammate, he’d still have to beat Verstappen by three points in Qatar to keep the championship alive

How can Perez win the F1 championship?

Sergio Perez of Red Bull Racing talks with race engineer Hugh Bird during practice for 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Even if Perez wins every sprint and grand prix with the fastest lap, Verstappen would have to still be crowned champion with a race to spare.

That’d mean he’d leave Las Vegas with a margin of 50 points and since it’s not 2014 any more with the ridiculous double-points at the last race, that’d be more than enough to wrap up the title.

Perez would need to average a margin of over 12.5 points per race weekend to be crowned champion, meaning he’d pretty much need to win every race with Verstappen not picking up another podium.

Amazingly, Verstappen could DNF half of the remaining grand prix and still be champion.

What about the F1 constructors’ championship?

Seconds before disaster… Red Bull celebrate at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix before breaking the constructors’ trophy | Dan Mullan/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Ahead of the Dutch GP, four teams’ constructors championship chances are already over for 2023 – Williams, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo and Haas. Heartbreaking stuff.

If Red Bull score the maximum at Zandvoort and Monza with their rivals drawing a blank then they could wrap up the title at the Italian GP. But if Red Bull continue scoring 1-2s then they’ll win in Japan regardless of what anyone else can do behind, while Mercedes could take first and second in every remaining race of the season and the title would still head to Milton Keynes.

Where is the next F1 2023 race?

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2022 McLaren’s Lando Norris in action during the race REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort on August 25-27, where championship leader Verstappen will be racing on home soil.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for and in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


Carlos Sainz during practice for the 2024 Spanish GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Carlos Sainz hits out at Lewis Hamilton over unpunished Spanish GP move

Carlos Sainz believes Lewis Hamilton should've been given a penalty for his overtaking move that forced the Ferrari driver...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Spanish GP Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warning to Red Bull and demands improvement

Max Verstappen demands Red Bull improvement as another tough race saw the reigning world champion have to really work...
Start of the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

LIVE F1 Spanish Grand Prix 2024 – Reaction as McLaren mistakes costly as Verstappen...

Welcome to Total-Motorsport’s F1 live coverage of the Spanish GP 2024. Held at the iconic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, today’s race...
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Spanish GP weekend | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton brushes off furious Sainz after Spanish GP incident

Lewis Hamilton risked angering Carlos Sainz after claiming the Ferrari driver "left the door open" to overtake him during...
Lando Norris of McLaren after the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lando Norris: McLaren easily had the best car at Spanish GP

Lando Norris believes Spanish GP victory should have been his as McLaren had the best car in Barcelona, but...
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner warns of Norris danger to Verstappen after Spanish GP battle

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner warned that Lando Norris and McLaren are their strongest competitors following a nail-biting...
McLaren team principal Andrea Stella at the 2023 Belgian GP | McLaren F1 team

McLaren chief pinpoints where 2024 Spanish GP was lost

McLaren's team boss they lost the 2024 Spanish GP by Turn 1 as a poor start saw Lando Norris...
Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton on the podium after the 2024 Spanish GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Standings after 2024 Spanish Grand Prix

Max Verstappen showcased his racing prowess at the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix, clinching his seventh victory of the Formula...
Lando Norris during the 2024 Spanish GP weekend | McLaren

F1 Fastest Lap: Spanish GP 2024

The Spanish GP Fastest Lap award is given to the driver who posts the quickest time over one timed...
Lando Norris during the 2024 Spanish GP weekend | McLaren

F1 2024 Spanish GP: Driver of the Day

Lando Norris was crowned 2024 Spanish GP Driver of the Day, but couldn't land the biggest prize of all...
- Advertisment -